Jennifer McCarter Headquarters, Washington, DC February 5, 1999 (Phone: 202/358-1639) James Hartsfield Johnson Space Center

, Houston, TX (Phone: 281/483-5111) RELEASE: 99-15 LAUNCH ADVISORY: SPACE SHUTTLE MANAGERS REORDER NEXT TWO FLIGHTS, SET PLANNING LAUNCH DATES FOR OTHER 1999 MISSIONS Space Shuttle managers this week decided to reorder the next two Shuttle missions, targeting a May launch for Discovery on STS-96, the next International Space Station mission, ahead of a July launch of Columbia on STS-93, carrying the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Planning dates also were set for missions throughout 1999. Official launch dates are announced following the Space Shuttle Flight Readiness Review, approximately two weeks before a launch. The following target dates have been set for planning purposes: * STS-96 DISCOVERY Space Station Assembly Flight 2A.1 May 20, 1999 * STS-93 COLUMBIA Chandra X-Ray Observatory Jul. 9, 1999 Sep. 16, 1999

* STS-99 ENDEAVOUR Shuttle Radar Topography Mapper

* STS-101 ATLANTIS Space Station Assembly Flight 2A.2 Oct 14, 1999 * STS-92 DISCOVERY Space Station Assembly Flight 3A Dec. 2, 1999

STS-96 will be carrying interior supplies and logistics to the station in a double Spacehab module and install U.S. and Russian spacewalkers' "cranes" on the station's exterior. STS-93 will be a

five-day mission to place Chandra in orbit, the third of NASA's complementary family of space-based "Great Observatories" and the largest and heaviest shuttle cargo ever. STS-99 will be a mission devoted to Earth observations using a three-dimensional imaging radar. STS-101 will carry logistical equipment to the station and assist in outfitting and checkout of the Russian-supplied Service Module, an early station living quarters. It also will be the first flight of the Multifunction Electronic Display System, also called the "glass cockpit," a modification that has replaced many of Atlantis' cockpit instruments with computer screen displays, a technology pioneered by NASA and common aboard commercial airliners. STS-92 will carry the first exterior framework, or truss, to be attached to the station as well as a third mating adapter. The changes in the first two flights are a result of recent delays in shipping the Chandra X-Ray Observatory from the TRW Space and Electronics Group factory in Redondo Beach, CA, to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, FL, to begin launch preparations. Work on Chandra in California has now been completed, and the observatory arrived at Kennedy on Thursday aboard an Air Force C-5 cargo aircraft. The other schedule changes allow flexibility for additional tests and prelaunch preparations for the Service Module launch. -end-